New York Times writer talks policy

John Riedel, Staff Writer

As part of the Mark Rosen Lecture Series, a New York Times editor gave a lecture April 8 about American politics and the concept of the American Dream.

David Leonhardt is currently the managing editor for the New York Times’ website the Upshot, which covers politics and policy using data to decipher. “The political science department invited David Leonhardt to deliver our 2015 Rosen Lecture for several reasons,” said Alec Ewald, interim dean of the honors college said. “He is an exceptionally insightful and articulate observer of the intersection between American politics and the American economy.”

During his speech, Leonhardt spoke about education in America and the movement for free high school education.

“Education is the single best way to overcome the circumstances of birth, and it is a divide that prevents many people from doing so,” he said.


He went on to speak about the issues of student debt and facing college affordability in America. “The problem we have with student debt today is not the kids who graduate with a college degree and $50,000 in debt,” Leonhardt said. “On average, those kids do just fine,” he said. “The problem is the kids who graduate with $20,000 to $30,000 in debt and no degree. Those kids don’t do just fine.”

Leonhardt has been a staff writer for the New York Times and wrote columns about economics, according to the New York Times’ website. “[Being a journalist,] it’s all I ever wanted to do,” Leonhardt said. “As a kid, I loved reading about sports. I realized that when you wrote something down, people take it more seriously than when you say it.”